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Laverne & Shirley - The Complete First Season

4.7 out of 5 stars 140 customer reviews

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(Aug 17, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Getting its start as a spin-off from "Happy Days," LAVERNE & SHIRLEY takes place in Milwaukee in the 1950’s and features Laverne, an outspoken, hot-headed woman who would love more than anything to be rescued from her job by a nice man, and Shirley, a naïve young woman who worries about her reputation and often finds herself assuming the role of Laverne’s conscience in an effort to keep her best friend out of trouble. The two quirky friends have many fun times with Lenny and Squiggy, two greasers who share an apartment above Laverne and Shirley and always seem to have some kind of scheme up their sleeves.

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As a spin-off from Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley was an instant hit and one of the most popular sitcoms of the '70s. It's a bit quaint by contemporary standards, and its light-hearted sentiment is strictly old-school, due to the crowd-pleasing influence of producer and cocreator Garry Marshall, a veteran of The Dick Van Dyke Show whose subsequent film career peaked early with Pretty Woman. As working-class roommates in mid-1950s Milwaukee, Laverne De Fazio (Penny Marshall, future director and Garry's sister) and Shirley Feeney (Cindy Williams) were a classic case of opposites: Laverne was relatively saucy and cynical, while Shirley was cheerfully naive and eternally optimistic. As bottle-cappers at the Shotz brewery, they regularly associated with colleagues (and eventual neighbors) Lenny (Michael McKean) and Squiggy (David L. Lander), and as an inaugural ratings-booster, Happy Days superstar Henry Winkler (as "Fonzie") appears in the first three episodes including "Bowling for Razzberries," later named by TV Guide as a classic episode. As Shirley's crooning would-be beau, Carmine "The Big Ragoo" Rugusa (Eddie Mekka) provided a touch of romance to Shirley's otherwise lackluster love life.

Despite personal rancor that later erupted between its energetic costars, Laverne & Shirley was always a showcase for polished, professional comedy and effortless chemistry between characters, giving it the same widespread appeal later enjoyed by Friends. A mid-season replacement with a prime time-slot (following Happy Days at 8:30 Tuesdays on ABC) the show placed its good-natured characters in a variety of standard sitcom predicaments, typically set in L&S's apartment, the "Pizza Bowl" diner run by Laverne's father Frank (Phil Foster), or the Shotz brewery, where some of the show's funniest slapstick humor emerged. These 15 episodes are guaranteed to please longtime fans on a stroll down memory lane, but bonus features are nonexistent, and newcomers may not relate to the clean-cut humor of a bygone era. Still, Laverne & Shirley started strong and continued to improve, at least for another season or two, with a variety of popular guest stars. This three-disc set represents the best of times for everyone involved. --Jeff Shannon


Special Features

  • All 15 episodes from the 1975-76 season

Product Details

  • Actors: Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, David Lander, Michael McKean, Henry Winkler
  • Directors: Garry Marshall
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: August 17, 2004
  • Run Time: 373 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000291Q3O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,018 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Laverne & Shirley - The Complete First Season" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I have been a big fan of Laverne and Shirley since it first aired in 1975. Now, here we are 30 years later, and it still remains one of my all-time favorite sitcoms. I knew this set had been kicking around for awhile now, but I finally got around to picking it up just last week. I've now had a chance to watch all three discs and was quite pleased with the quality of the transfers and the sound. There are no extras included here, no outtakes or deleted scenes, no commentaries or other goodies, but I'm not complaining. It was, after all, a SITCOM, and that's how they keep the prices on these box-sets low.

The series is set in 1950's Milwaukee, and follows the trials and tribulations of two working class girls from the suburbs, their eccentric but loveable neighbors, "Lenny & Squiggy"(Micheal McKean and David Lander), and the girls' misfortunes at dating, finding romance, and generally just trying to make their way in the world. The supporting cast included singer Eddie Mekka(Carmine Ragusa) who played Shirley's occasional boyfriend, Phil Foster(Frank DeFazio), Laverne's loud-mouthed, hard-working Italian father who owns the "Pizza-Bowl", and several other guest stars like Henry Winkler and Ron Howard. Season one DOES NOT include the character of Mrs. Edna Babish, which was played by the charming Betty Garrett, who became the girls' landlord, and later married Laverne's father, Frank. (Betty was still working on All in the Family at the time). It should also be said that the scripts and dialogue here were a little choppy at times, but you have to remember that this was the first season, and the show gradually improved as time went on, which brings me to my complaint...

WHERE IS THE REST OF THE SERIES?
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
I just called Paramount because I have been frustrated with their lack of more releases of L&S on DVD. I have made several calls over the last several months. I just spoke with a very nice guy who said that if you call them and vocalize wanting to see more seasons of L&S released on DVD, it will make a difference. Please call them at 323.956.5000 and ask for the Marketing and/or Home Entertainment Dept and tell them to please release more seasons on DVD. Pass this on to your friends and pass the word. Call every day or every other day or once a week. If we bombard them with calls they will see that there is a demand. If the # is blocked from this review, they are in the 323 area code - 555.1212 ask for Paramount Pictures for the main #. Thanks for reading. PLEASE PASS THE WORD! Signed, one huge L&S fan!!!!!!!
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Format: DVD
Probably one of the funniest duo's in comedy since Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello. The pairing of Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams was an instant success that won many fans. I have waited a long time for this, and I only hope that Paramount doesn't drop the project after season 1.

The DVD's are nice and clear. Superb transfers and good sound. I was astounded at how clear the picture was. Almost as if these videos were being shown for the first time! I couldn't detect any flaws at all, other than than a few sound glitches now and then, but nothing major.

Please, do us a favour and release all 8 seasons of Laverne and Shirley... I haven't seen some of these episodes in YEARS! My personal opinion is either release the series in its entirety or don't even bother. The whole purpose of these DVD re-issues is for to us to enjoy all those golden memories again right? Then do us a favour Paramount and release EVERY episode that ever aired. TV Land was only airing certain episodes, and then showing them out of sequence. I was not impressed. So please, let us enjoy all these old episodes again, complete and uncut, the way we remember seeing them.

Thank-you Laverne & Shirley for all the laughs!
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Format: DVD
It's a simple matter of mathematics. Season one is a HALF SEASON (15 or so shows). The cost of this half season is listed at $35. It stands to reason a full season would cost $70. Would you pay that for season 2???

OK, now the reason the show is so expensive. Music COPYRIGHTS. Each song used as background music on the show has a separate copyright. Satisfying the holders of these copyrights is expensive. So the cost is passed on to the consumer. Same story with Happy Days. And did you notice no WKRP? Any show that uses Top 40 music has this problem. I recently purchased "Love at First Bite" with George Hamilton, to find "I Love the Night Life" by Alicia Bridges REPLACED by another generic tune. I guess she wanted too much money. For L&V to do this would spoil the flavor of the show.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When I was 12, Laverne and Shirley was my favorite show! Never missed an episode and would often write my own episodes for my friends and I to enact.

I always watched the reruns and tried to tape episodes when I could, so when this was released on DVD, I had to have it.

Each episode, for me, anyway, is a trip down memory lane. But it also showcases the outstanding comedic talents of Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams. They were as good as Lucy. I spent an evening belly laughing and still pop it in when I have had a rotten day and need a chuckle!

This is a great set for the major fan, but also a good way to introduce the latest generation to this great show!
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Laverne & Shirley - The Complete First Season
This item: Laverne & Shirley - The Complete First Season
Price: $9.99
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